Tuesday, July 14, 2009

ALA 2009 / Event > Libraries and Mobile Devices: Public Policy Considerations

Timothy Vollmer (ALA Staff) / Monday / 07-06-2009 / 12:24pm.

Start: 07/12/2009 - 1:30pm / End: 07/12/2009 - 3:00pm / Time Zone: US/Central

Mobile technologies are becoming an important tool for libraries to connect users and information. If you’re in Chicago for the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, come check ... [ALA Office for Information Technology Policy] ’s program Libraries and Mobile Devices: Public Policy Considerations.

This event will take place Sunday, July 12, 2009 from 1:30-3:00pm at McCormick Place West W-192a.

Panelists will include:

  • Jason Griffey, Assistant Professor and Head of Library Information Technology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

  • Bonnie Tijerina, Digital Collections Services Librarian, UCLA

  • Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Acting Director, ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom

  • Eli Neiburger, Associate Director, IT and Product Development at Ann Arbor District Library

  • Tom Peters, TAP Information Services

We’ll explore the current landscape of mobile devices and offer ideas for the future that can leverage mobile in ways to serve users in new and exciting ways.

Panelists will discuss challenges posed by the explosion of mobile platforms, including issues of copyright and content licensing, digital rights management and format interoperability, user privacy, and accessibility & design.

For those that cannot attend, we’ll be videorecording the session and will make it available online after the conference [Not Available ? / 07-14-09]



ALA Conference 2009: Ubiquity of Mobiles Greatly To Affect Libraries

... Libraries must adapt their services and address issues of licensing, privacy, and accessibility

Norman Oder -- Library Journal, 7/13/2009
  • Mobile devices have penetration worldwide; speed to explode

  • Streaming media to grow in importance

  • Libraries must adapt services, maintain values, say panelists

Libraries had better prepare for an explosion in the capacity of mobile devices as well as the transformative increase in user capacity and expectations. This was the message conveyed by a panel yesterday at the American Library Association's (ALA) Annual Conference on Libraries and Mobile Devices: Public Policy Considerations.

After all, explained Jason Griffey, Assistant Professor and Head of Library Information Technology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, cell phones are the most popular and ubiquitous information device worldwide; in 50 countries, cell phone penetration (phones/person) exceeds 100 percent.

By the end of 2010, he continued, 90 percent of the world’s population will have access to a cell-phone signal. Right now, more than 60 percent of people have a cell-phone subscription, and three-quarters of them use text messaging. That total, 2.4 billion people, is twice the number currently using email.

Further, more people are now accessing the web through mobile devices such as a smartphone. New examples include the always-on Amazon.com Kindle and the growing number of netbooks.


Tom Peters of TAP Information Services commented that he couldn’t think of any other device that has had a 60 percent diffusion worldwide: “This is huge.”

Licensing and Local Content

Moderator Tim Vollmer of the ALA's Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) asked about the role of libraries in licensing such future digital content.

“This is really the question for libraries in the 21st century,” suggested Eli Neiburger, associate director, IT and product development at Ann Arbor District Library, MI. “We need to get out there right away and realize that holding a copy that exists in ten thousand other places in the world is worthless…when you have in your pocket the entire digital world available to you.”


Changing Services

How does mobile technology change the traditional library service model? Tijerina suggested that the core services and values remain the same, but that mobile devices expand the “when” and “where” of the library response.

Griffey pointed out that many services are moving to real time, citing Twitter and FriendFeed. That means libraries should start thinking about “proactive reference…for localized sorts of situations” in which libraries “insert ourselves into processes that people are using.”

The Future: Streaming

Asked about issues of privacy and bandwidth planning, Peters, who works with digital download services, said “my gut is telling me the future is streaming media.”

Privacy Issues


Peters described work on a text message reference service using AltaRama and GMail. “We decided AltaRama was more trusted,” he said, so it will be used to save questions, but the GMail will be deleted.

[See Infoquest: Alliance Library System Text Message Reference Service]

Digital Like The Physical?

Vollmer pointed to the example of downloadable audiobooks that expire after three weeks and asked if libraries should treat digital objects like they do physical ones.

“Treating the digital like the physical is insanity of the highest order,” Griffey commented. “The music industry was the first to be destroyed and rebuilt,” he said, citing the examples of Napster and iTunes. “I think video and text are going to go in the same directions."



Vollmer pointed to the example of pressure from publishers to disable text-to-speech function on their books via the Kindle.

“I think we need a Reader Bill of Rights for the digital era,” Peters suggested. While publishers now sell large-print books, he said, readers should have the right to choose their own font size and the “ability to turn text to speech should be inalienable."


See Also

ALA Conference 2009: Provocative Top Tech Trends Include Mobile ...

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